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“THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) LAUNCHES TASKFORCE ALECTRYON TO FOCUS ON THE EVALUATION OF AVIAN FLU VACCINE”

In its commitment to stop the spread of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus in the country, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), led by Director General Dr. Samuel A. Zacate, has launched Taskforce Alectryon¹.

Avian influenza, also known as bird flu, is a highly contagious viral disease that affects domestic and wild birds. At times, it can also affect mammal species, including humans. Beyond its impacts on animal health, the disease has devastating effects on the poultry industry, threatening farmers’ livelihoods, food security, and international trade.

In 2017, the Philippines confirmed its first epidemic of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Despite successfully managing the epidemic, the continuous threat of reemergence persists. The widespread infection among bird populations contributes to the persistence of viruses within avian species, heightening the risk of transmission to other species, including economically important ones and even to humans.

To tackle the ongoing challenges posed by HPAI, a proactive approach is essential for effective management of virus spread and its impact. This approach involves implementing preventive measures and control strategies, with vaccination playing a crucial role among other strategies.

Task Force Alectryon shall focus on streamlined evaluation of applications for Avian Influenza (AI) drugs and vaccines that are safe, efficacious, and of good quality enabling the prevention and curb the spread of the virus in the avian population.

The FDA fully supports the administration’s program to help the local poultry industry and ensure the availability and affordability of poultry products and its by-products ; all for the purpose of attaining food security.

To date, there is no application for a Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) of Avian Influenza (AI) vaccine has been submitted to the agency.

The Food and Drug Administration encourages the veterinary pharmaceutical industry to submit applications with complete requirements in support of the government’s efforts to control Avian Flu infection.

¹Alectryon (from Ancient Greek: ἀλεκτρυών, Alektruṓn pronounced [alektryɔ̌ːn], literally meaning “rooster”)